Zanzibar: more than just a paradise island

26th Jul 2013

For those holidaymakers who thought that Zanzibar was "just" a heavenly haven for sun-seekers in search of beautiful beaches and warm turquoise waters, think again.

With African, Arab and Portuguese influences, this African destination is alive with a bustling history and can offer travellers some exceptional cultural sites.

Stone Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is the old city in the cultural core of this wondrous Indian Ocean archipelago.

It is a setting of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and ornate Arab homes.

One of the highlights for tourists here on city breaks is the vibrant market, where everything under the warm Zanzibar sun is bought and sold.

Those interested in the region's rich history may prefer a visit to the Palace Museum and the House of Wonders.

The Palace Museum was once the official house of the Sultan of Zanzibar.

It was transformed into a museum dedicated to the history of Zanzibar's Sultans nine years ago.

The House of Wonders is a square building with many floors and topped by a large clock tower.

A popular holiday activity is the spice farm tour, with an opportunity to view and enjoy some of the world's most aromatic and mythical spices and fruits.

Guides share Zanzibari secrets such as local women's use of the ylang ylang scent to show absent husbands that they were missed when they return.

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